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ASUP kicks against new scheme of service, says document discriminatory against HND holders

* ASUP says scheme filled with contradictions, discrepancies, contentious issues
Monday Jun 24, 2024 13:14 pm

By News Editor with reports from Duke Ezeh
Abuja,   Cover Story

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) says the new scheme of service as a document further undermines the polytechnic education and also promotes the age-long disparity and discrimination against its products with that of university education in the country.

ASUP makes reference to  the recently released scheme of service especially as it affects employment and job progression for holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates and degree holders in  tertiary education. 

Recall that the Federal Government, through the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) recently issued a white paper, titled:  “Scheme of Service for Polytechnics” signed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr  Folasade Yemi-Esan. A copy of  the document was sent to ASUP through NBTE.

ASUP in a statement signed by its National President, Shammah Kpanja, and made available to newsmen at the weekend, asserted that the new document grossly undermined Nigeria’s polytechnic education status, promotes disparity and entrenched  discrimination against HND holders, while also negatively distorting the established career structures and progression guides in the subsector.

According to the union, the development is indeed a period of mourning for Nigeria’s polytechnic system after a tortuous seven-year review journey following agitations by the union, “our polytechnics are left with a burden of contradictions that amplifies the identity crises rocking the subsector over the years.”

According to ASUP, there are many discrepancies and contentious issues that the members, as one of the major stakeholders in the polytechnic education, are not happy with and therefore demand a stoppage of its implementation.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The union said it is not even surprising to members that the head of the civil service could come up with that policy since, according to them, she has no regard for polytechnic education and its products as shown in her utterances over the years.

“But this is a clear display of poor knowledge of the office of HoCSF as regards the core demands of a functional tertiary education structure with the desired condiments for the promotion of technical and technological education in the country. 

“And we are equally disappointed at NBTE on this matter.

“We believe that rather than the agency to undertake a careful study of the document, it chose the path of a lone-ranging celebration of a document that will birth confusion in the subsector, deepen dichotomy, accelerate brain drain, further reduce students’ enrollment and further detach our polytechnics away from global community of tertiary schools. 

“Similarly, while we see this attempt as a way to trivialise our union’s past struggles to make career definition and progression structures in our polytechnics to meet up with global standards, we equally see it as a subtle attempt to inject acrimony within the ranks of the staff trade unions in the subsector.

“So, to us, this is an unfortunate development and we strongly advise NBTE as our regulatory body to exercise restraint in the implementation of the various contentious provisions in the document until such provisions are aligned to prevailing laws and standards in the tertiary education.”



Education Minister, Prof. Tahir Mamman

Extracts from the contentious scheme

HND holders will end career at 12, while B.Sc will reach 15 in the polytechnic swctor

* Confidential Secretaries to terminate at 12

* Chief Executive officers to terminate at 12

* Chief Technologist to terminate at 12

* Library officers to terminate at 12

* Hostel Supervisors to terminate at 12

* Craftsman/Foreman reversed back to 6

* Some practical/studio oriented courses not captured in the scheme.

* Audit Cadre missing. 

ASUP President, Shammah Kpanja

Former Presidents, L-R: C. B. Asomugha, Usman Dutse, Anderson Ezeibe - all worked hard towards acceptable scheme

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